Wildtek Waterproof Portable Solar Panel Charger
The Wildtek portable solar panels charger is a 21W monocrystalline charging system that folds out into three sections. Its 12.4 x 6.6 inches when folded, about the middle of the road for folding solar chargers.
Its monocrystalline panels are capable of up to 24% efficiency. Its encased in a rugged fabric liner and is rated at IP65 water and dust resistance. This makes it suitable for use in just about any outdoor environment.
One really cool feature is the built in kickstand system. Two fabric coated panels drop down from the back and allow you to prop it up on a wide variety of surfaces and at different angles.
The Wildtek gives you two USB charging ports each capable of charging a modern smartphone or other small electronics. They use SmartCharge technology to intelligently adapt their power flow to the device.
The Wildtek 21W portable solar charger is a lightweight and highly portable solar charging system. It folds down to a very small package and is affordably priced.
Are Portable Solar Panels Waterproof
Most portable solar panels are water or weather-resistantmeaning they should not be submerged underwater but can be left outside in light rain. However, that doesnt mean that every portable panel should be left outside permanently. Check with the manufacturer to ensure the panel will meet your needs.
Best Overall Solar Charger
- Multiple Device Charging Speed9
- Weight & Portability6
Weight:Number of USB outlets:
The BigBlue 3 goes above and beyond the rest. Thanks to its impressive charging abilities and consistent performance across the board, this panel maintains its place at the top of the pack for another year. Though there may be other options out there that charge faster or look cooler, nothing beats this model when it comes to overall performance. When your electronics need a boost, this panel will deliver a consistent charge in variable conditions . In terms of features, we love the built-in ammeter and the zippered accessory pouch. We also appreciate this panel’s simplicity and reasonable price tag. With three USB ports and a classic fold-out design, the BigBlue is an excellent all-arounder that will efficiently charge most small gadgets.
One downside to this panel is its weight. Weighing in at 23.5 ounces, it’s a bit heavy. As a result, it’s better suited for front-country use, though it will excel wherever you use it. Other than its weight, this panel receives high marks across the board.
- Multiple Device Charging Speed9
- Weight & Portability7
It’s not the lightest model that we tested, but it does pretty well for its size . Its tri-folding design is about the size of a magazine and is easy to store. This contender was hard to beat when it came to charging capabilities, weight, and price.
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Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel
The Goal Zero Nomad 20 is a lightweight folding solar panel rated at 20W. It uses monocrystalline solar cells and provides a good balance between portability and performance.
Its made up of three separate panels connected together and is just 13 x 8.5 inches when folded up. The body is protected by a rugged fabric lining and velcros closed when not in use.
The Nomad 20 gives you multiple charging options, including:
- 8mm DC solar port
- USB port
- 2.5mm DC mini solar port
It can also be chained together with additional Goal Zero products to charge up larger batteries or solar generators. It provides enough power to effectively keep you phones, headlights, flashlights, and other small electronics charged up while in the backcountry.
The Goal Zero Nomad 20 is a lightweight and easy to use camping solar panel that wont let you down when it counts. It combines a good mix of features and performance, especially when you consider Goal Zeros large catalog of natively pairable batteries, chargers, and additional panels.
It uses intelligent charging technology that helps regulate the power to match your devices needs. Overall its good, if expensive, choice for your outdoor needs.
How Much Are Portable Solar Panels
Like everything else, portable solar panels vary in cost. However, if youre looking to invest in a portable solar panel that will last and be able to produce a significant amount of power, youre likely going to have to spend a few hundred dollars unless you catch a good sale. That being said, this isnt to say that there wont be better deals available. However, these better prices will likely mean that you have to be willing to give up on some of the benefits that the more expensive options offer.
Be sure you do your research carefully before investing in one of these models. For certain people, these tradeoffs may be well worth the cost. However, others will not be so fortunate and may have to purchase a more expensive option in addition to their bargain buy to generate the power they need in the time they need it.
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Renogy 30 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Best For Limited Space
Wattage: 100W | Panel Type: Monocrystalline | Foldable: No| Weight: 6.1 lbs
This might be an odd option on the list today a tiny 30W solar panel.
But hey, this list is all about portability, right?
Now, lets focus on why I loved these tiny beasts just like the Renogy Eclipse solar panels, these performed extremely well in the low-light conditions.
Plus, the 6.1 lbs. weight makes it so easy it to carry it around. You wouldnt even need a truck for them as they are less than 2 feet wide.
Pair it with something like Renogy Phoenix 300 and youre all set for a great camping trip!Just keep in mind that this is only a 30W panel and only serve a specific niche.
- Only 30 watts of solar charging
- Not suitable for batteries/generators with high capacity
Why Do I Like It?
Compact, lightweight, and portable Renogy 30 Watt solar panels come with all the good things that I like about a portable solar panel.
How Long Do Foldable Solar Panels Last
However, their high efficiency comes doesnt come cheap, as they are typically more expensive than polycrystalline panels. Solar panels last about 20 years, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The great news is that, with proper maintenance, your panel may actually run for as long as 40-50 years.
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Sungold Power 200w Solar Panel Best For Off
Wattage: 200W | Panel Type: Monocrystalline | Foldable: Yes | Weight: 29 lbs
When mentioning portable solar panels, most people think of flexible solar panels that you can fold up into a self-contained protective case and, when needed, deploy them within seconds in a new location.
However, many of our readers are RV and off-grid enthusiasts who like a more permanent solar solution on their rigs or cabins.
If you want to fix solar panels to your RV roof and leave them be, Id go with SunGold Power 200W.
These panels have rigid, weather-resistant aluminum frames, but are still considered portable because of their weight and easy installation.
You dont need a complex roof mount these portable solar panels come with pre-drilled holes and its up to you to decide how you want them fixed.
On the downside, you wont be able to move them around to catch the most sunlight that easily.
- Cables and connectors not included
Why Do I Like It?
The SunGold Power 200W portable solar panels are ideal if you want a semi-permanent solar setup which you can still relatively easily dismantle in the off-season.
High Efficiency & Big Power
Made with monocrystalline solar cells, adjustable leg stands, and ultra high efficiency, we make sure you are getting the most out of the power of the sun. Combined with Lion Energy power stations, you can store and use the solar energy with the fastest speed, and charge the most gear through the AC, DC and USB charging ports.
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Nekteck Portable Solar Panel Charger
Available Wattage: 21 | Weight: 1.13 lbs | Dimensions: 26.3 x 11.1 x 1.06 in
When it comes to the best portable solar chargers, The Nekteck Portable Solar Panel Charger will always make the list. This charger is made of three monocrystalline solar panels and can provide up to 3 amps. It has dual USB outputs along with technology to promote fast charging. At only 6.3 x 1.1 x 11.1 and 1.13 pounds, the charger likely weighs less than your camping tent and is a breeze to bring on all of your camping trips. The IPX4 waterproof rating means its resistant to both water and dust. With up to 24% solar conversion efficiency, youll love how quickly the Nekteck Portable Solar Panel Charger charges your devices while youre exploring the great outdoors.
Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It
While people are coming to recognize the value of solar panels, many still have questions about the usefulness of portable solar panels. Its a fair question. After all, why would anyone want to invest in a solar panel with less surface area. Many people assume that to generate the most power you would need to have the most surface area to work with. If this were true, it would eliminate the need for portable panels.
Luckily, this isnt true. Since their inception, portable solar panels have become much more efficient and effective ways to gather solar energy. They now come in a variety of different sizes that are able to accommodate your needs. In fact, some of the newer models can even be used to power up entire RV homes without using utility plug ins to supplement the power.
Portable solar panels may be smaller, but they are very effective when it comes to generating power. As long as you do your research and make sure youre investing in a model that was built using high quality materials, you wont have to worry about generating enough powers. If you live a lifestyle that requires you to travel frequently or constantly be on the go, a portable solar panel could be just what you need.
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S To Setup Your Solar Panel
Make sure your solar panel comes with a solar charging cable. This cable connects one or several panels to your solar generator or battery.
Choose the best spot for the panels on your RV roof, tent, or open ground. It should get a steady supply of sunlight throughout the day. Use the panels own kickstand or tie it using a paracord.
Connect the solar panels to your solar generator. These generators already have inverters, fuzes, batteries, and control displays, so you can always tell how much energy is being used and how much it is charging on solar.
Goal Zero Boulder Solar Panel Briefcase
Available Wattage: 50, 100 | Weight: 25.9lbs | Dimensions: 40.0 x 26.75 x 1.75 in
If you need a solar panel for campervan trips, check out the Goal Zero Boulder Solar Panel Briefcase. Inside the briefcase youll find a 100 watt monocrystalline solar panel. Constructed with tempered glass and rigid, anodized aluminum the briefcase is lightweight. It weighs about 26 pounds and measures 40 x 26.75 x 1.75. Truly one of the best portable RV solar panels, the briefcase features an adjustable kickstand to help with portability and a carrying case to protect it while youre traveling or its in storage. While youre sitting around the campfire after youve stopped for the night youll really appreciate having the Goal Zero Boulder Solar Panel Briefcase with you.
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Advantages Of 400 Watt Solar Panels
- Excellent power output even in low light conditions.
- Better efficiency thanks to half-cut cell configuration.
- High efficiency at high temperatures.
- Very-cost effective and price competitive.
- Require fewer panels due to increased energy generation.
- Reduced installation cost since requiring fewer panels.
- Increased durability thanks to smaller cell size and therefore reduced probability of microcracking.
- Low degradation rate.
Can I Buy And Install Solar Panels Myself
Can you install solar panels yourself? The short answer is yes, but there are some serious drawbacks to going it alone. Installing solar panels isnt exactly as simple as mounting a light fixture or swapping out your water filtration system. Solar panel installation is definitely one of those situations.
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Best For Rvs: Go Power Gp
Weighing 28.66 pounds, the Go Power! GP-PSK- 130 is one of the heavier options out there, but its a great match for RVers who require a little extra off-grid power to top off batteries . The 130-watt panel delivers an impressive 6.9 amps per hour, has a built-in solar controller with a digital screen to monitor input and transmit power, plus adapter cables to connect to a battery.
The self-standing panels can easily fold in two and fit into the included case for easy storagemaking them a great alternative to mounting to the roof.
Thieves Stay Away From My Portable Solar Panels
Portable solar panels have many advantages, but some of them are also disadvantages. If you can set them up and take them down easily, so can someone else!
To avoid this, you can protect your solar panels in several ways.
You can get a solar panel alarm system that detects irregular movements, as in when someone is trying to remove them from your RV roof.
You can also make the removal less easy by fastening them with steel bolts and nuts instead of using paracord.
Finally, you can always install a HD camera with a motion detector and a floodlight that engages only when someone gets into the area where you set your solar panels.
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Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Solar Charger
Available Wattage: 5 | Weight: 1.3 lbs | Dimensions: 6.1 x 3.4 x 1.4 in
One of the best portable solar panels for camping, the Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Solar Charger can easily be attached to your backpack and give you all the power you need for your trip. It folds down to 6.1 x 3.4 x 1.4 and only weighs 1.3 pounds. It has a built-in 25,000mAh Li-polymer battery so you can charge all your devices multiple times. The charger has four foldable panels with up to 1 amp of current in the sunlight. It can be charged with a USB cable and has dual USB outputs. The charger even includes a built-in LED flashlight with SOS mode which is perfect for outdoor emergencies or if you forgot your camping headlamp. You wont have to worry about your phone dying while youre out on the trail when you bring along the Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Solar Charger.
Water Resistance And Durability
One of the greatest things about portable solar panels is their high level of reliability. Theyre electrical equipment but are entirely sealed against the elements. As long as you protect the actual connector from prolonged exposure to water theres little risk of damage from rain or accidental immersion.
Durability wise it becomes more muddied. Hiking panels are usually encased in either a hardened housing or some kind of ruggedized fabric. This allows them to stand up to the elements but cant totally protect them.
The nature of solar panels means there is a sheet of glass or hardened plastic that has to be exposed. If you drop them the wrong way, accidentally bend them or stand on them theres a very good chance your panel will crack.
A single crack can effectively eliminate the usefulness of your panels.
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Price Of Portable Solar Panels
Portable solar panels can be bought in a kit set, composed of panels, together with other accessories which are required for their use. A smaller panel kit can cost around £200 but can increase in price as the output grows. The bigger panels can cost in the vicinity of £400, which, considering the pro’s of such panels is not bad at all. Furthermore, there are no maintenance costs, as cleaning is as easy as dusting the panels off, and no installation costs which give these panels a huge advantage over the conventional household roof panels.
Zamp Solar Portable Solar Panel Kit
Available Wattage: 90, 140 | Weight: 39.8 lbs | Dimensions: 42 x 24.5 x 4.5 in
Among the best solar panel kits for RVs which are 35-feet or smaller, the 140-watt Zamp Solar Portable Solar Panel Kit can charge everything from your lights to your portable computer. The kit comes ready to connect directly to a 12-volt battery or a 12-volt battery bank of multiple batteries. It includes detachable battery alligator clamps, 15-feet of wire, adjustable quick stand legs, a 10-amp waterproof charge controller, and a ballistic nylon carrying case. The kit weighs around 40 pounds and measures 42 x 24.5 x 4.5. Sturdy and easy to use, the Zamp Solar Portable Solar Panel Kit will be a welcome addition to your RV trips.
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Bigblue 3 Usb Ports 28w Solar Charger
Available Wattage: 28 | Weight: 1.31 lbs | Dimensions: 33.1 × 11.1 × 0.2 in
When youre camping you want to make sure to have everything you need without your load being too heavy. With the BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger, thats never a problem. As one of the best camping solar panels, the water-resistant charger has three USB charging ports with a 5V/4.8A maximum. Its able to convert 21.5 23.5% of solar power into free energy. It measures 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 when folded, weighs about 1.3 pounds, and can easily fit in your hiking daypack. For safety purposes the charger has protection against short circuiting, over voltage, over current, and overcharging. When buying a solar panel for camping, dont overlook the BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger.